North Korea says it has demonstrated the operational readiness of its own intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) during a short-term exercise.
On Saturday, the responsible unit fired a Hwasongpho-15 ICBM in the direction of the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea), state media reported. After a flight of 989 kilometers, the rocket successfully reached its target area in the sea. ICBMs are considered the most important means of delivery for nuclear weapons. All tests with ICBM and other ballistic missiles are forbidden to North Korea by UN decisions.
According to the reports, there was an "excellent grade" for the surprising rocket launch exercise. The Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party "appreciated the actual war capability of the ICBM units, which are ready for mobile and powerful counterattacks".
Seoul sees "serious provocation"
The missile launch by North Korea was recorded by the South Korean military on Saturday. South Korea's general staff accused the neighboring country of a "serious provocation". The United States also sharply condemned the missile test. The range of ICBM exceed 5500 kilometers. North Korea is subject to tough international sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program.
The conflict on the Korean peninsula has become explosive again since last year. Despite being banned by UN resolutions, North Korea has increased the scope and speed of its missile tests. South Korea and the US resumed their joint maneuvers in full.